Evan Minton, 35, is a transgender man who was scheduled to receive a hysterectomy at Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a hospital in the Dignity Health chain,near Sacramento, California. Two days prior to the appointment, a nurse called to discuss the surgery and Minton mentioned that he is transgender. The next day, the hospital canceled the procedure.
The delay put all of the other treatments he had scheduled in flux until he was eventually able to schedule the surgery at another hospital.
“I was forced to put my life on hold because of Dignity’s discrimination,” Minton said. “It was so emotionally stressful. The longer my treatments are postponed, the worse I feel about myself.”
“I routinely perform hysterectomies at Mercy San Juan,” said Dr. Lindsey Dawson, Minton’s doctor. “This is the first time the hospital has prevented me from doing this surgery. It’s very clear to me that the surgery was canceled because Evan is transgender.”
Because Dignity Health is the largest hospital provider in California, with 31 hospitals across the state, its practices have a big impact on the health of Californians.
In April of 2017, the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Southern California, the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the law firm Covington & Burling LLP filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health for denying care to Evan Minton because he is transgender.
Dignity Health moved to dismiss the lawsuit, and the San Francisco Superior Court ruled in Dignity Health’s favor. Evan’s legal team has appealed the decision, and the appeal is pending in the First Appellate District.